Government Selectives

The Social Science Department will offer four government selectives for 2019-2020: Constitutional Law, San Francisco Politics, U.S. Govt: Crime, Law and the Constitution, and U.S. Govt: Race, Gender and Power.  Each government selective will use a different lens to explore government and politics in the United States.  Seniors are required to take at least one of the four government selectives, but they are highly encouraged to enroll in as many government selectives that interest them.

Students may apply to take government selectives for honors. By taking honors, they commit to completing additional assignments (e.g. a college-level research paper) and participating in outside experiences (e.g. a city council meeting).

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (5452)

Grade Level — 12
Length — One Semester (Fall or Spring)

Type of Course — Fulfills US Government requirement
Prerequisite — World History I and II, US History
Criteria for Enrollment — None

UC/CSU Subject A Approval

Course Description — Constitutional Law challenges students to become experts on the United States Constitution. With just 4,543 words on four pages of parchment paper, the original Constitution established a framework with competing values that endures to this day. More specifically, this course will focus on the policymaking institutions established in first three Articles of the Constitution: Congress, the Presidency, and the Federal Judiciary. Furthermore, this course will examine how the media, interest groups, political parties, and elections serve as linkage institutions between the American people to the federal government. 

Student will examine case studies involving domestic policy (e.g. the federal budget) and foreign policy (e.g. wars and armed conflicts).

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW HONORS (5462)

Grade Level — 12
Length — One Semester (Fall or Spring)

Type of Course — Fulfills US Government requirement 
Prerequisite — World History I and II, US History
Criteria for Enrollment — Student must apply to enroll.  To be accepted, student must have a Demonstrated history of academic achievement.

UC/CSU Subject A Approval
Class receives honors weighting in SI weighted GPA and UC/CSU GPA calculations

Course Description — Constitutional Law challenges students to become experts on the United States Constitution. With just 4,543 words on four pages of parchment paper, the original Constitution established a framework with competing values that endures to this day. More specifically, this course will focus on the policymaking institutions established in first three Articles of the Constitution: Congress, the Presidency, and the Federal Judiciary. Furthermore, this course will examine how the media, interest groups, political parties, and elections serve as linkage institutions between the American people to the federal government. 

Students will examine case studies involving domestic policy (e.g. the federal budget) and foreign policy (e.g. wars and armed conflicts).

The honors curriculum for this course will include additional assignments (e.g. college-level research papers) and participating in outside experiences (e.g. city council meetings).

U.S. GOVT: CRIME, LAW AND THE CONSTITUTION (5453)

Grade Level — 12
Length — One Semester (Fall or Spring)

Type of Course — Fulfills US Government requirement 
Prerequisite — World History I and II, US History
Criteria for Enrollment — None

UC/CSU Subject A Approval

Course Description — U.S. Govt: Crime, Law and the Constitution evaluates the origin and application of due process rooted in British law and found in the United States Constitution. The course will analyze issues related to the federal and state criminal justice systems including: policing, arrest, arraignment, trial, sentencing, and incarceration/alternative rehabilitation. At the federal level, students will evaluate the impact of federal laws such as the 1994 Crime Bill and precedents set by Supreme Court cases. At the state level, students will examine key California laws such as the Three Strikes Law.  Case studies will include recent trials, and the coursework will include field trips and guest experts from the Bay Area.

U.S. GOVT: CRIME, LAW AND THE CONSTITUTION HONORS (5463)

Grade Level — 12
Length — One Semester (Fall or Spring)

Type of Course — Fulfills US Government requirement 
Prerequisite — World History I and II, US History
Criteria for Enrollment — Students must apply to enroll.  To be accepted, students must have a Demonstrated history of academic achievement.

UC/CSU Subject A Approval
Class receives honors weighting in SI weighted GPA  and UC/CSU calculations

Course Description — U.S. Govt: Crime, Law and the Constitution evaluates the origin and application of due process rooted in British law and found in the United States Constitution. The course will analyze issues related to the federal and state criminal justice systems including: policing, arrest, arraignment, trial, sentencing, and incarceration/alternative rehabilitation. At the federal level, students will evaluate the impact of federal laws such as the 1994 Crime Bill and precedents set by Supreme Court cases. At the state level, students will examine key California laws such as the Three Strikes Law.  Case studies will include recent trials, and the coursework will include field trips and guest experts from the Bay Area.

The honors curriculum for this course will include additional assignments (e.g. college-level research papers) and participating in outside experiences (e.g. city council meetings).

U.S. GOVT: SAN FRANCISCO POLITICS CASE STUDIES (5454)

Grade Level — 12
Length — One Semester (Fall or Spring)

Type of Course — Fulfills US Government requirement 
Prerequisite — World History I and II, US History
Criteria for Enrollment — None

UC/CSU Subject A Approval

Course Description — This course will analyze the changing demographics of San Francisco from a Gold Rush town to a blue-collar manufacturing and shipping center to a technology hub, and how those changes impacted the City’s politics. Students will learn about the evolution of the “strong mayor” system of government and the relationship between the executive (Mayor’s Office) and legislative (Board of Supervisors) branches of City government. Students will also examine San Francisco as a case study in federalism by evaluating how the national government (e.g. the Hetch Hetchy water system and the New Deal programs) and the California state government (e.g. the “great freeway revolt”) have shaped the City and County of San Francisco. Furthermore, students will study how San Francisco became a center of the civil rights, free speech, anti-war, and gay rights movements, particularly from the 1960s to the present.

U.S. GOVT: SAN FRANCISCO POLITICS CASE STUDIES HONORS (5464)

Grade Level — 12
Length — One Semester (Fall or Spring)

Type of Course — Fulfills US Government requirement 
Prerequisite — World History I and II, US History
Criteria for Enrollment — Student must apply to enroll.  To be accepted, students must have a Demonstrated history of academic achievement.

UC/CSU Subject A Approval
Class receives honors weighting in SI weighted GPA  and UC/CSU calculations

Course Description — This course will analyze the changing demographics of San Francisco from a Gold Rush town to a blue-collar manufacturing and shipping center to a technology hub, and how those changes impacted the City’s politics. Students will learn about the evolution of the “strong mayor” system of government and the relationship between the executive (Mayor’s Office) and legislative (Board of Supervisors) branches of City government. Students will also examine San Francisco as a case study in federalism by evaluating how the national government (e.g. the Hetch Hetchy water system and the New Deal programs) and the California state government (e.g. the “great freeway revolt”) have shaped the City and County of San Francisco. Furthermore, students will study how San Francisco became a center of the civil rights, free speech, anti-war, and gay rights movements, particularly from the 1960s to the present.

The honors curriculum for this courses will include additional assignments (e.g. college-level research papers) and participating in outside experiences (e.g. city council meetings).

U.S. GOVT: RACE, GENDER AND POWER (5457)

Grade Level — 12
Length — One Semester (Fall or Spring)

Type of Course — Fulfills US Government requirement 
Prerequisite — World History I and II, US History
Criteria for Enrollment — None

UC/CSU Subject A Approval

Course Description — U.S. Govt: Race, Gender and Power is a course that explores personhood and its construction in the American political system. Since the drafting of the Constitution, the US political system has restricted access to legal rights and protections of personhood; in particular for women and People of Color. In turn, this creates unique political realities for the Black, Chicanx/Latinx, Asian American, Native American, Feminist and LGBTQ experiences within the US political system. This course will examine the Constitution and the federal and state governments it creates from the perspectives of these communities, as well as how the Constitution, judicial system, media, interest groups, and political parties have been used by the People to achieve greater access to freedom and equality. In short, this course will examine who exactly has historically been included in the American collective of “We the People", how this has changed over time, and what this means for our society today.

This course will cover the following topics on the AP US Government and Politics Exam; Foundations of American Democracy, Civil Liberties and Civil Rights, American Political Ideologies and Beliefs, and Political Participation.

U.S. GOVT: RACE, GENDER AND POWER HONORS (5467)

Grade Level — 12
Length — One Semester (Fall or Spring)

Type of Course — Fulfills US Government requirement 
Prerequisite — World History I and II, US History
Criteria for Enrollment — Students must apply to enroll.  To be accepted, students must have a Demonstrated history of academic achievement.

UC/CSU Subject A Approval
Class receives honors weighting in SI weighted GPA and UC/CSU GPA calculations

Course Description — U.S. Govt: Race, Gender and Power is a course that explores personhood and its construction in the American political system. Since the drafting of the Constitution, the US political system has restricted access to legal rights and protections of personhood; in particular for women and People of Color. In turn, this creates unique political realities for the Black, Chicanx/Latinx, Asian American, Native American, Feminist and LGBTQ experiences within the US political system. This course will examine the Constitution and the federal and state governments it creates from the perspectives of these communities, as well as how the Constitution, judicial system, media, interest groups, and political parties have been used by the People to achieve greater access to freedom and equality. In short, this course will examine who exactly has historically been included in the American collective of “We the People”, how this has changed over time, and what this means for our society today.

This course will cover the following topics on the AP US Government and Politics Exam; Foundations of American Democracy, Civil Liberties and Civil Rights, American Political Ideologies and Beliefs, and Political Participation.

The honors curriculum for this course will include additional assignments, readings, and participation in outside experiences, as appropriate and available.